Does e-Commerce make sense for your business?
Ultimately that’s for you to decide, however below are a few of my opinions that I’d encourage you to keep in mind:
If you are going to do it, do it right. Please don’t do it half assed…you’d be better off keeping the money in your bank account.
If your business sells services, there are better ways your company could spend its money! I have yet to come across a services business where e-commerce really makes sense. It might seem like a nice idea, but the reality is that an e-commerce store is useless unless it actually sells stuff.
In order for people to be able to reach a decision to buy from you, they need to be completely at ease with giving you their credit card information. If they have any uncertainty about what it is they are buying, because its not a clearly defined “product”, then your conversion rate will be murdered.
Same goes for any other doubts, such as the reputation of who they are buying from, or even if they don’t feel completely at ease with the quality of your e-commerce store, then they won’t buy (see point above about doing e-commerce half assed!).
The challenge with services is that often times the service being sold needs to be tailored slightly, or for some reason your customers want to talk to you first. (eg: accountancy services – would you hire an accountant that you hadn’t met?)
If you sell products then your business should consider e-commerce.
e-Commerce stores take a good bit of administration and marketing in order to be successful. You are going to need to hire/assign a digital marketing savvy member of staff to run and promote your online store.
e-Commerce implemented correctly is extremely sophisticated and can have all sorts of autonomy built in to manage the processes of payments, fulfilment and even stock control, however you will still need at least one person who can take ownership of all the day to day tasks and more importantly growing the traffic to your site.
It is possible to outsource the marketing piece to a company but there will still be on-going administration required: updating products, stock levels, pricing changes, shipping, etc.
In conclusion I hope that this article has cleared up what e-Commerce is specifically, and given you a flavour of how it could help your business or whether it would even be suitable for your business.